SamyangRokinon12mmF/2.0 – 03
43rumors readers Pier Yves Menkhoff wrote the very first review of the new Samyang/Rokinon 12mm f/2.0 NCS CS MFT lens! The lens is available on preorder in Black and Silver:
Black at Adorama (Click here) and BHphoto (Click here).
Silver at Adorama (Click here) and BHphoto (Click here).
Samyang Rokinon 12mm F/2.0 NCS CS MFT from Pier-Yves Menkhoff on Vimeo.
I film events where I am often in “emergency” position. I need a reactive material with many automatisms. Until now, I was convinced that I would never have the time to do a manual focus on professional shooting where “emergency” is needed. I rediscovered the manual mode with the DMC-GH4 and the Focus Peaking on a Bar Mitzvah (…….). No one automatism.
The Panasonic 12-35mm F/2.8 is excellent. However, it is difficult to zoom and to do a focus within a meter of someone dancing. We have to make a choice. I have long been tempted by the Olympus 12mm F/2.0. But it is expensive and almost impossible to find in black.
I then “squinted” to the “exotic” brands. The Samyang Rokinon and other Sigma are not directed to the ayatollahs of the photo. Nothing will ever be perfect with them. They have preconceived ideas. For them, nothing beats a Leica, Nikon, Canon, etc. lens. Just take a look on the French photo websites or magazines. They are unable to compare what is not comparable. They have the same a priori between full frame and mirrorless.
Samyang Optics has celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2012. It manufactures and markets optics under the Vivitar brand, Samyang, Rokinon, walimex, Bower or Pro-Optic brand according to the continent where they are distributed. The “low cost” is due to the absence of coupling with the camera. The Samyang brand is poorly distributed in France. No collaboration can be expected from the importer. I need to buy the Samyang Rokinon 12mm for testing.
The Samyang 12mm F/2.0 NCS costs 339 € in Europe. For this price, the videographer or photographer are more than worth the money. The 12mm comes in a box that was not ashamed of the comparison with the “big” brands. The Lens hood and a pouch are included in standard.
The appearance is professional and appealing. The Samyang is not a “cheap” lens. It is constructed with 12 elements in 10 groups, including two aspherical with a beautiful opening at F/2.0. It weighs 255 grams on Micro 4/3 version. It also accepts filters with a diameter of 67 mm. The lens hood is relatively large. It gives a “Pro” look to the camera.
SamyangRokinon12mmF/2.0 – 01
We must be realistic. For 339 €, no automation, everything is manual. The focus ring is wide, long and endless. It is quite firm. Even too. The focus becomes easier with the Focus Peaking included to the DMC-GH4, a DMC-GM1 or DMC-GX7. If you want to use the “magnifying glass”, you will have to activate and the register the function via Fn shortcut. About the aperture ring, the setting of the opening is by notch. Notching represents no discomfort in video mode. The DMC-GH4 records no operating noise.
Samyang announces a development between 20 cm and infinity for the focus. In fact, very positive, the development can be made at about ten centimeters from the subject.
The shooting of the film below was made with a DMC-GH4 with the Samyang 12mm F / 2.0. By the absence of second camera, several shots have been made for the piece on the piano. I would like to thank Nathalia Romanenko for her collaboration.
I let the reader to judge what is comparable. The Samyang does not suffer too much from the comparison with the Panasonic 12-35mm in 12mm mode. I will not talk to you “dive center” and “soft edges.” I will not talk about chromatic aberration, contrast, tone, diffraction. Photo Life is not an autopsy. The image of Rokinon Samyang is very good and professional. My only “minus” comes to the focus. Even with the Focus Peaking function, it seems to me less accurate than any Panasonic, Leica, Olympus, etc. lens. The distance scale seems more confused. For the defense of Samyang, the light of the church was not very nice …